Master Plan Study

Lake Highland Preparatory School

Lake Highland Preparatory School (LHPS) is a private institution located in Central Florida that extends across two disparate campuses: main campus and a satellite middle school campus. The project began with analyzing exploring and testing space reconfigurations that would reinforce the priorities of their strategic plan entitled “The Art of Imagination” as well as create potential synergies for STEM education. The priorities of the strategic plan were to improve campus safety, enrich the learning experience, maintain fiscal sustainability, and to use existing infrastructure to optimize academic consolidation and enhancement. The goals of the master planning exercise were to propose a capital building plan that could catapult LHPS as a leading institution in pedagogical innovation and collaboration, college and career planning, and efficient building facilities.

An intensive survey of existing spaces and site utilities were studied and methodically recorded and a detailed space swaps program map of all LHPS facilities reflected these findings. The design team proposed three new and renovated building concepts in alignment with the strategic plan priorities for increasing campus safety and security, offering innovative academic program options, and allowing for future expansion. These options considered existing and future programming, existing utilities, site optimization relative to growth and expansion as well as the value of the lakefront views and modern image for the school. LHPS selected a design strategy which resulted in several ‘space swaps’ and synthesized building program into the new Porter Center for Innovation and Academics. A new upper school building, which accommodates the Innovation Institute, serves as an experimental testing ground for future STEM technologies and discoveries.
Another result from the study was re-envisioning the school's art and music departments. Calkins Hall is one of 16 buildings in the heart of the main campus and houses a mix of departmental classrooms and an outdated library devoid of natural light and limited inflexibility for modern uses, such as makerspaces and technology-focused study rooms. In addition, the music and art department were tucked into a basement with another building and limited in instrument storage, acoustical separations, natural light, and adjacent outdoor space for band practice. By considering Calkins Hall as the new ‘arts district’ through renovation and a modest expansion, band, chorus, orchestra, individual practice rooms, student collaboration zones, and art- and music-related classrooms were consolidated. The library and other classrooms were carefully distributed and modified within the Porter Center to capture views of the lake creating an open-source student union and media center, and unifying engineering, robotics, virtual reality, and design labs into a hub for the upper school.